The machinery of very large courses

Well, a new semester has begun. Once again, my Physics 132 course is remote. Due to the unique challenges of this pandemic and remote learning, I am also completely in charge of the lab portion of the course for the first time this semester. This added responsibility, 14 lab sections and 11 TAs, plus my efforts to make the course as flexible as possible in response to the pandemic really has me reflecting on the machinery of very large courses.

This first week-and-a-half has been all about getting things moving. There really are so many pieces: the zoom schedule, the forum, the recordings, the lab manual, the homework, the TA schedule, the TA help sessions, getting all the TAs knowing what they need to do, then helping the 600 students understand it all! It really is like running a small company.

Personnel management should be a required thing for all graduate students.